Study Shows Positive Influences Delay Teen Sexual Activity
Research further demonstrates positive
results of abstinence education
Washington, DC (January 16, 2008) — The National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) applauds the results of a Boston University School of Medicine study that reveals teens with positive attitudes about delaying sexual activity are more likely to practice abstinence. Using a scientifically-validated scale, researchers measured the beliefs and attitudes about sex of more than 11,000 students ages 12 to 17 to determine what influences their decisions to become sexually active. After one year's time, nearly 90-percent of students who had expressed intent to not have sex had remained abstinent.
According to the study, outside influences like parental opinions on sex, personal beliefs, and their friends' sexual behavior help determine whether or not a teen will have sex. Research also indicated that in spite of great fears about pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such concerns did not make a teen more likely to abstain.
"This study proves that when teens are given the skill sets needed to make the best health choice about sex, it is clear they are capable of choosing to abstain," said Valerie Huber, Executive Director, NAEA. "The core teachings of abstinence education include character building, goal-setting and exploring the emotional risks of casual sex. Abstinence education is the only curriculum that offers such a clear, risk-avoidance approach to sexual health."
"This latest research further demonstrates the value of the many abstinence education programs across the nation increasing teens' intentions to abstain. Teens who complete abstinence programs are more likely to remain abstinent than their peers who do not receive such a positive public health message," said Huber. "This study only underscores the fact that the abstinence approach provides a vital link between good intentions and good behavior."
The Boston University study is one of the largest analysis to date on teen sexual behavior. The results of the study are featured in the January issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.
NAEA serves and supports abstinence educators from 42 states who work with more than 1.5 million students across the U.S.
For more information:
To schedule an interview with NAEA Executive Director Valerie Huber, please contact Patra Stephan at 202-248-5420 or 202-246-3822.